Emily Yang (b.1949~)
A 1979 graduate of San Francisco State University, Emily Yang continued to study in the graduate program in fine arts at SFSU from 1982 to 1983 before returning to Taiwan in 1983. She joined the Apartment No. 2 art collective in 1989, taking part in numerous group exhibitions. She subsequently participated in five exhibitions of new works at IT Park Gallery, along with such prominent group exhibitions as the Chengdu Biennale, Taipei Biennial, and the Shenzhen International Ink Painting Biennial.
Early in her career Emily Yang worked chiefly with acrylic and oil paints as creative media. Both the figurative and the abstract coexisted in her works, the way that art and life can be seen as a “holistic” relationship in which life gives rise to art, and the creative outcome is rooted in life experience.
Yang began creating ink collages in the 1990s, creating “automatic” writing and brushwork, and free of compositional restraints – it can be purely rhythmic, perhaps doodles, not conforming to any set concepts or motives of expression – rather, just brushstrokes that stand alone. Having been freely cut out by the artist, the ink on paper becomes fragments of unpredictable form and irregular size, carrying abstract brushstrokes having undergone assorted fractures and variations. With these paper scraps bereft of context and continuity as materials, Emily Yang places and connects the fragments over and over, leaving irregular shapes and forms, layered with uneven thickness to produce alternative textures to give the picture an abstract appearance somewhere between two-dimensional and relief. Filling the blank canvas one move at a time, she constructs different worlds.
Emily Yang received her initial training in the West, only transitioning to working with ink after years of practice in the Western tradition. Her application of ink and creative approach differ greatly from those commonly seen in conventional ink painting. And consequently, this enables alternative perspectives through which to offer innovative ways to consider the art of ink painting. Thus by going beyond the ideology and historical baggage associated with “Chinese painting,” it restores the purity and essence of ink painting.